Philosopher Writes About “a God that Could Be Real” – And We Created Him

The star in the center, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, is known as V1331 Cyg and is located in the dark cloud LDN 981. (Karl Stapelfe/ESA/Hubble, NASA)
The star in the center, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, is known as V1331 Cyg and is located in the dark cloud LDN 981. (Karl Stapelfe/ESA/Hubble, NASA)

When she was a teen, Nancy Ellen Abrams told her rabbi that humanity created God.

She’s still at it.

And according to her new book — “A God that Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science and the Future of Our Planet” — this God emerges from us, not the other way around.

Abrams grew up to become a philosopher of science, an attorney specializing in international science law, and co-author of books on dark energy and dark matter — the unseeable forces that comprise 95 percent of the universe — with her astrophysicist husband, Joel Primack.

Abrams’ God book is rooted in scientists’ discoveries in cosmology, the study of the origins of the universe. She expands her theory to the spiritual heavens by detailing a God that she could believe in after leaving Judaism and embracing atheism.

This God is definitely no relation to the loving, comforting, guiding God of the Abrahamic religions. Rather, Abrams says, the real God worthy of our attention is an “emergent force” generated by the collective consciousness of human beings. As she sees it, God is the “collective of our (best) aspirations.”

Abrams writes:

“Collectively we are influencing God. The worse we behave, measured against our deepest aspirations, the weaker God becomes, not only for us but also for future generations. The better we act, the richer God becomes and the more useful to future generations. We have the power to strengthen the very God we turn to. …”

“The spiritual challenge for us is to accept the scientific picture of the universe and with the real help of a real God figure out how to act accordingly — in every way, not just technologically but sociologically, psychologically, spiritually, educationally, politically and every other way.”

Then, Abrams writes, we can use our “god-capacity” to save the “still-evolving cosmic clan in which each of us is a living organism.”

“We have an urgent need to identify as the cosmic beings we actually are with a huge role in the cosmos. We all have an identity and what happens when people don’t use it is a terrible waste and we endanger ourselves,” said Abrams, whose book is full of warnings about the need to care for creation, however you think it got here.

In some ways, she’s circled back to the core Jewish teaching of “tikkun olam,” the belief that humans are obligated to join God in healing and repairing the world. She is out to “reclaim the old spiritual vocabulary to interpret it in ways that make sense in our time and take back the truth.”

While Abrams finds immense comfort and joy in this God, she sees no need to outsource another major role assigned to the Abrahamic visions of the Almighty — moral guidance. Hers is no tsk, tsk, tsk God who judges, punishes and forgives. Personal salvation is irrelevant, as is the concept of grace.

“God does not discriminate against or judge or reward individuals,” she said in an interview. “We have a God emerging from all our good aspirations — the urge to love more, do more, be more. The best part of us is God.”

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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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